The Plough Lane Bond has been upgraded and relaunched for 2022, with a higher interest rate available. The Dons Trust is continuing to administer the scheme and bonds can now earn up to 7% interest per annum.
More than £600,000 has already been invested in the relaunched Bond, which hopes to top £2m before the end of February this year as part of the club’s ongoing efforts to refinance a commercial bridging loan.
Speaking before the Portsmouth game this week, Dons Trust Board member Charlie Talbot, one of the creators of the original bond, explained:
“The first bond was an incredible achievement, it raised more than £5.6m. Without it we might have lost control of the club or failed to build the stadium. And our members and investors were incredibly generous.
“So this time around the message is slightly different. In this round of refinancing we would rather borrow from our members and fans than the bank. That’s why we’ve increased the rate. Anyone can get a bond at up to 6% and as a thankyou to the people who helped us when we needed it most, any existing bondholders can take out a new bond at up to 7%.
“Our initial target is all the twos – we would like PLB2 to raise more than £2m by 22.2.22”
Dons Trust co-chair Kris Stewart added:
“The more Plough Lane Bond 2 brings in, the closer we get to our aim of reducing or removing any external debt to a bank or commercial lender. Obviously, it would be wonderful if people felt able to lend us money at the lower end of the rate scale, but any investment in the scheme makes the overall financial picture better.
“Following on from our recent financial update, discussions are ongoing with an equity investor and the finance committee are continuing to explore commercial lending possibilities, so we are pursuing all routes to refinance. But all our options for backing the club’s ability to grow and increase operational budgets are improved the more investment we can take in the Bond.”
Head coach Mark Robinson concluded:
“Even after all the years I’ve been here, our fans still amaze me. The first Bond is what made our wonderful stadium a reality – Plough Lane is the ground that we all built and I still get goosebumps every time I walk into it. I hope you all do, too. It’s hard to imagine that Plough Lane Bond 2 could ever get close to replicating the first one, but with our fans and our story you just never know.”
Dons Trust Board members Charlie Talbot and Kris Stewart discuss the new and improved Bond at our Plough Lane home.